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Nikita Mazepin

DRIVER PAGE
06/01/2021

PORTRAIT

STATISTICS (PRIOR TO 2021)

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2020 - number of wins:
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DETAILS

Nikita Mazepin

DOB:
Age:
Height:
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Born:
Lives:

02/03/1999
22
1.76m
69kg
Single
Moscow, Russia
Moscow, Russia

Official website:
nikitamazepin.com/

BIOGRAPHY

Nikita is the son of Dmitry Mazepin, the core shareholder and chairman of the Uralchem Integrated Chemicals Company, who previously tried to buy Force India in 2018.

Beginning in karting in 2012 aged 13, it wasn't until 2014, having finished 2nd in the CIK-FIA World Championship, that he appeared on the 'world stage', when, switching to single-seaters, he finished 10th in the India-based MRF Challenge Formula 2000 claiming one podium finish.

In 2015 he raced in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC in addition to selected rounds of the Toyota Racing Series and Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0.

In 2016 he moved up to the Formula 3 European Championship with Hitech Grand Prix, though it was a disappointment, the Russian youngster scoring just 4 point-scoring finishes from 30 starts, ending the season a lowly twentieth.

It was at the opening round at Paul Ricard that Nikita first made the headlines for the wrong reasons, hitting rival Callum Ilott in the face after he felt the British driver had blocked him.

As a result of the incident, was excluded from the opening race at the next round in Hungary.

2016 wasn't all bad however, for in February Nikita was announced as a development driver with Force India.

"It's an incredible feeling to join Sahara Force India," he said at the time. "It's the biggest step in my career and I want to thank Vijay and everyone in the team for giving me this opportunity.

"I'm still young and I have a lot to learn," he admitted, "so the guidance and experience of Sahara Force India is really important for my development. My goal is to race in Formula One in the future and today's news takes me closer to achieving that objective. I will work hard to help the team and do everything I can to improve my skills on and off the track."

Nikita made his F1 debut at the in-season test at Silverstone, finishing 5th quickest on the first day and fourth on the second.

Remaining in F3 with Hitech for 2017, Nikita scored one win and two other podium finishes on his way to claiming 10th in the overall standings.

Continuing his development role with Force India, the youngster took part in the in-season test at the Hungaroring and the post-season test in Abu Dhabi.

For 2018 he moved up to GP3 with the prestigious ART Grand Prix team, where his teammates included Callum Ilott - yes, that Callum Ilott and Anthoine Hubert.

Nikita gave a good account of himself, scoring four wins - the most of any driver that season and finishing runner-up just 16 points adrift of championship winner Hubert.

Still with Force India, Nikita took part in the pre-season test in Barcelona and again at the in-season tests in Spain and Hungary.

Remaining with ART, in 2019 Nikita made the move up to F2, as teammate to Nyck de Vries.

While the Dutchman went on to win the championship with 266 points, Nikita finished a lowly 18th with just 11. Indeed, the highlight of his season was the accident he caused during the sprint race at Sochi whilst battling Nobuharu Matsushita.

In terms of F1, eyeing a move for his son in the 'pinnacle of motorsport', Dmitry Mazepin funded a programme similar to that of Lance Stroll, the youngster enjoying twelve days of private testing at a variety of tracks in a two-year-old Mercedes.

Furthermore, needing to run a suitable driver for the in-season Young Driver test at Barcelona, Mercedes recruited Nikita. The Russian repaid the German team's faith by topping the timesheets.

Over the winter break he contested the Formula 3 Asian Championship with Hitech, finishing third overall.

Though he remained in F2 for 2020 he switched to the new Hitech outfit. Two wins and four other podium finishes were enough to secure fifth in the overall standings.

The first podium came at the Hungaroring where he claimed second, while his maiden victory came at Silverstone.

As ever, controversy was never far away, and after pushing Carlin driver Yuki Tsunoda wide at Spa, and thereby handed a 5 second time penalty which denied him victory, at the season finale he was handed two penalties for his dangerous on-track antics.

Indeed, as the Russian was announced as teammate to Mick Schumacher at Haas for 2021, team boss, Guenther Steiner admitted that he would have his work cut out controlling the Russian.

As if to prove the point, days later Nikita was embroiled in a scandal after he posted video on social media of him appearing to grope a young woman.

Though the footage was widely condemned Haas, having held an investigation behind closed doors, appeared to take no further action.

As Nikita prepares to make his F1 race debut, many will be watching not so much to judge his progress but rather to evaluate whether, following his numerous apologies, the youngster really has learned his lesson. Indeed, on social media there are continued calls for Haas to drop him.

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